Fear No More: Technology Platform Brings Financial Literacy to Schools

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

Fear No More: Technology Platform Brings Financial Literacy to Schools

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for EverFi Financial Literacy PlatformI have a confession to make – and please don’t judge me – but when I was in high school, I can promise you I did not know the first thing about credit scores, mortgages or IRA accounts (or the fact that if I didn’t pay off my credit card on time I would get a bad credit score because once again, what is a credit score?)

Almost six years out of high school, I can save face and tell you that I have a rudimentary understanding of the financial world (but, after all, how good can it be until I buy my first house or start actively planning for my retirement?) But the thought remains: If my generation had understood credit scores earlier, would more of us have been able to rent our first apartments without needing a guarantor? And if we had known about the importance of paying a credit card bill on time, would our parents still have had to bail us out?

Fortunately for many of you high school students out there, education technology leader EverFi is paving the way for financial literacy and helping you guys stay ahead of the game.

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with EverFi to hear about how its Financial Literacy Platform for High Schools, a platform that is integrated into the classroom to teach kids the importance of the Stock Market, credit scores and mortgages all through the use of technology, is taking the country by storm.

Before the program makes its way into the classroom, corporations come forward to fund the software so that the program can be introduced to a school free of cost. Once the school agrees to participate, the software is then integrated into school lessons. The platform, which operates in the cloud, allows kids to log in from all over the country and complete exercises having to do with the various sections of financial education. Kids receive financial literacy certification upon completion of the program.

When the program started three years ago, it was implemented in 80 public high schools by the end for the first year. Since then, the program has expanded to include 3,500 high schools and hundreds of thousands of students. In fact, some leading financial companies like Genworth Financial have been so impressed with the technology platform that Genworth now brings the program to every public school in the state of Virginia, about 320 schools.

In a time plagued by economic hardship, defaulted loans and bad credit reports, I can think of no greater program to bring into our schools, since learning financial literacy is unequivocally more important than learning how to use algebra to solve for FoG and GoF.

So for all you educators who may be reading my blog, please don’t leave your high school students unprepared for the real world and all its financial hardship. Adopt a program such as this. Because six years later, even as your students enter the “real world,” they may still be feeling lost in this complex world of dollars and budgets.


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